Recently, I given the good news that my short-story collection–When You Find Us We Will Be Gone–was recently longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize. This is the first–and probably only time–I will share a list with Margaret Atwood. Top prize is 25,000 Euros! You can see the list here.
I’m happy to report there’s a new review of my debut collection of short stories–When You Find Us We Will Be Gone–over at Atticus Review. The (ominous!) title of the review is “UNCOMFORTABLE AND UNHINGED PEOPLE” and here’s a snippet:
“…the uneasiness Linforth is able to create in us as readers. What is great about this disquiet and discomfort is that it seems as though Linforth is trying to hold a mirror up for us to see our own human flaws, perhaps in an effort to get us to fight against them.”
It has a few months since I last posted. But in that time my debut collection of short stories–When You Find Us We Will Be Gone–has garnered a few more reviews. I’ve been very happy with the nice things reviewers have been saying so far. Over at Foreword Reviews, they note:
“The sting of Christopher Linforth’s stories lingers long after the final page. Complex and disturbing, they follow ordinary people caught up in worlds not of their own making, knowing that somewhere (and it’s always somewhere else) there is a better life—a more worthy partner, a brighter future—if only they could get there.”
And at the Iowa Review:
“The stories…are at once bold but also subtle, haunting but also full of hope, spanning decades and continents.”
Finally a few kind words from At the Inkwell:
“Linforth has given us a rich array of plots, characters and settings in his first collection, and one that’s worth reading for short story lovers.”
Over at Daily Dose of Lit, they have excerpted a section of one of my short stories. “The Lake” was originally published in Gargoyle and then slightly revised for When You Find Us We Will Be Gone. I hope you check it out and let me know what you think!
Here’s an excerpt of an excerpt (!):
Ruth held up a large roadmap of Kansas against the passenger-side window. Bright sunlight bled through the thin paper, washing out the towns, blending together the endless miles of farmland. “I think we’re here,” she said, pointing to a red line in the middle. She seemed annoyed that I had glanced over and hadn’t said anything. We were driving to a lake I visited as a boy. I didn’t care much, but Ruth insisted on us taking a vacation, going somewhere different and away from the noise and dirt of the city. This was my first time back in Kansas since I moved across the country for graduate school in the late eighties. She had never been out this far west, living the last few years on the Upper East Side.
In this era of declining book review pages, getting your book reviewed can be pretty tough. So I feel lucky that my debut collection of short stories was recently reviewed in The Roanoke Times. The reviewer said some kind things about When You Find Us We Will Be Gone. My favorites being: “Each of the 12 stories in the collection combines to create a starkly ravaged landscape of castrated emotions as the various narrative voices suffer disconnection within disintegrating relationships” and “Linforth’s characters struggle with the failed promise of youth and the fear that life has somehow fallen short. Linforth’s settings are global and often unfamiliar, but the characters remind us of people we know well, even of ourselves.”
On Christmas day, the wonderful online publication The Rumpus published my review of the poetry collection Blitzkrieg. Here’s the opening:
“Strangely, with the entire multimodal dazzle that adorns Blitzkrieg, the poems of John Gosslee exist in a vestigial nook, a calm ache of textual space blissfully unaware of the ripples created by its presence. This is not a criticism. Rather it is an attempted elucidation of the juxtaposition inherent in such an ambitious project. Less a book, and more a sensory experience, the collection comes paired with a soundtrack by the composer Taras Mashtalir and a movie by Thomas Agostino.”
I have a new essay in the latest issue of Switchback.
Here’s the opening of “Narravitized”:
When I first started writing essays I wasn’t really writing essays. I barely knew what the term meant or what the parameters were for what I was attempting to accomplish. I was ten, though. Or perhaps eleven. I remember in history class we were given thick textbooks that had been at the school for generations. Scrawled across the pages were crude drawings of naked women: voluptuous, big-haired, dead-eyed—a kind of Playboy palimpsest. The teacher told us to ignore the graffiti and to focus on the words. We were studying the causes of the First World War; how all of those European countries could have converged into a destructive genesis, a beginning of war. The book told a story—albeit in the essay form—of Franz Ferdinand, train timetables, the Schlieffen Plan, jingoism, imperial dreams. History had been rendered into narrative. From where I sat in the classroom these weren’t competing theories of causality, but parts of the story—they added the drama.
I have a new story out at Hawaii Pacific Review. Here’s the opening:
A Sky Green and Fields Blue
At the doorway to the barracks, Shoshana saw snow fall into the darkness. Now and then the searchlights scanning the camp illuminated the flurry of white, reminding her of the soap flakes her mother used to wash her clothes. She lifted the gauze from her wrist and picked at the scabby flesh that had grown over the blue numbers. She was tired of the factory, of the endless repetition, of the soreness and the bruises, the grease under her fingernails, the bread and lard rations that made her vomit, and the latrines smeared with dark, liquid shit. Dafna, a Czech woman from Karlsbad, called her away from the door. Shoshana did not want to hear her words. She was tired of listening to the older women.